Handheld analyzers combine benchtop accuracy and MIL-spec durability

September 03, 2012 // By Julien Happich
The 14 models of handheld analyzers announced by Agilent Technologies are claimed to deliver benchtop-instrument accuracy in field-test environments whilst being designed for harsh conditions and hard-to-reach locations.

The FieldFox analyzers cover satellite communications, microwave backhaul, military communications, radar systems and a wide range of additional applications. They can be configured as cable-and-antenna analyzers, spectrum analyzers, vector network analyzers, or all-in-one combination analyzers. Each compact, 3.0 kg package is available in four frequencies: 9, 14, 18 or 26.5 GHz. To ensure durability in harsh field environments, the completely sealed enclosure is compliant with U.S. MIL-PRF-28800F Class 2 requirements. To enhance ease of use, the instrument has a vertical, or “portrait,” orientation and large buttons, allowing users to easily operate the unit with their thumbs, even while wearing gloves.

FieldFox microwave vector network analyzers provide full two-port S-parameter measurements with a remarkably low trace noise of ± 0.004 dB and superior dynamic range of 94 dB (up to 18 GHz over -10 to 55°C). The VNAs offer an industry-first QuickCal function, which enables hassle-free calibration without external accessories. With any other instrument, adding devices such as jumper cables to the test port requires recalibrating with an external calibration kit.

FieldFox microwave spectrum analyzers provide industry-leading amplitude accuracy of ±0.5 dB at power-up, with no warm-up required, from -10 to 55 °C, allowing field users to instantly and precisely characterize transmitter power. They can detect more signals in the band of interest with phase noise of -111 dBc/Hz at 10 kHz offset, and measure low-level signals in the presence of high-power transmitters with spur-free dynamic range of 105 dB.

The combination analyzers' base function is cable and antenna analysis, and users can configure the instrument to do spectrum and vector network analysis as well. To further save space in a field kit, FieldFox analyzers can be ordered with a built-in power meter, independent signal generator, vector voltmeter, interference analysis, variable DC source, frequency counter and built-in GPS receiver.

Among the 14 models are two new FieldFox RF combination analyzers: the N9913A (4 GHz) and the N9914A (6.5 GHz). These models